Hey everybody, our show in the Edmonton Fringe goes up in less than a week so the excitement is starting to get to me. (Read: nerves.) In an attempt to wrangle in these feelings I figured I should do a write up on this bizarre comedy show we have coming up.
Gumshoe is described simply as a meta murder mystery. It's predominantly a two person show, with a bit of a dabbling from a third player. Gumshoe follows the story of Jacob, a theatre goer who, after getting annoyed that the lead actor doesn't know his lines, shouts various insults and disdain towards the show. The heckling all gets to the lead actor's head and he walks off stage. Of course, because this is theatre, the show must go on. The only remaining actress on stage-- Morgan, playing Lily-- drags Jacob on stage and makes him fill in the role of leading man. Through this Jacob struggles to keep the show afloat and make it work.
It's a comedy that doesn't take itself too seriously and all stemmed from a strange idea I had during our rehearsals for last year's Fringe show It's Complicated. In the middle of a rehearsal I started calling out some notes to Patrick. Right after I finished my note I immediately asked how an actor would deal with someone shouting in from the audience and "directing" them. This quickly changed over to what would happen if this audience member went on stage and began to try and run the play himself. How much control would an audience member have over the play physically? Metaphysically?
The last bit is touched on briefly in Gumshoe-- indirectly anyway. My hope was to put Jacob, our protagonist, into a situation on stage and make the play itself his antagonist. The fictional play was a murder mystery and he's the one who has to solve it. However the play doesn't slow down for him and he has to ride along with it while trying to piece the whole damn thing together. It was a blast of a play to write because I was able to do things on stage that I couldn't do in film: breaking the fourth wall, stepping right into the audience and dragging them back on stage for the rest of the show. Certain pieces helped bring the puzzle together completely and I can't wait to see how they all come together on stage. Especially because of how wonderfully Patrick and Sarah are handling being in charge of these puzzle pieces.
If a comedic meta murder mystery stands out to you and you'll be in the Edmonton area during Fringe you should come check out the show. We run 6 dates that I'll post below between August 14th and August 24th at Venue #9 - Telus, 10437 83rd Avenue. The show is 50 minutes long and costs $12.50 for adults and $7.00 for seniors and students. Say hi to me too if you want. I'll be the one pacing around outside the venue in the midst of a panic attack.